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Re-opening dates announced for leisure centres

Posted by East Suffolk Communication team on 24 July 2020 | Comments

East Suffolk Council’s leisure centres operated by Places Leisure is preparing to re-open from Monday 3 August following further easing of lockdown restrictions.

Following the latest Government announcement, East Suffolk Council and operational partners, Places Leisure, can now announce the phased re-opening of its leisure facilities.

Deben Leisure Centre, Leiston Leisure Centre and Felixstowe Leisure Centre will re-open on Monday 3 August at 7am for gym and fitness classes, which will be followed by lane swimming on 10 August and swimming lessons in September. Brackenbury Sports Centre will re-open on Monday 17 August at 10am.

In order to ensure a safe re-opening in line with industry best practice and official Government guidance, advice has been taken from the fitness industry trade body, ukactive and Public Health England.

As a result, people returning to the centres will see additional safety measures and cleaning regimes in place, as well as social distancing measures.

This includes new hand sanitiser stations and cleaning stations to wipe down equipment before and after use, new floor and wall signage throughout and repositioned equipment to enable social distancing.

All activities will be operated in sessions which must be pre-booked via the Places Locker App or Places Leisure website. Gym sessions will last 60 minutes and swim sessions, where applicable, 45 minutes.

There will be a changeover period between all sessions to allow people to exit their session safety and for staff to clean the facilities before the next session.

All fitness classes will be running on a changed timetable with reduced class sizes to enable social distancing.

In a joint statement, Cllr Letitia Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Cllr Stephen Burroughes, Cabinet Member for Operational Partnerships, said: “We know that many people have missed it and are keen to get back to their fitness regimes, so it is great news that we are now able to confirm the re-opening of our leisure centres run by Places Leisure.

“Of course, things will be a little different when our leisure centres re-open, but we want to reassure people that that the safety of customers and staff is our first priority and every step has been taken to ensure we can re-open as safely as possible.

“We hope that customers will enjoy the leisure facilities but also act responsibly so that both other customers and staff can have a safe and positive experience.”

As part of ensuring a safe re-opening, Places Leisure has prepared a comprehensive guide to frequently asked questions as well as a short film to introduce the new measures in place to help people prepare for their return. 

Jeremy Boreham, Area Manager for Places for People Leisure, said: “We are really pleased with the Government’s decision to allow indoor gyms and leisure facilities to re-open – meaning it won’t be long before we welcome customers back to our gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools.

“Since we closed our facilities on Government instruction in March, the team has been taking advice from Public Health England, following Government guidelines, and consulting with our trade body ukactive to ensure that we can reopen as soon as possible.

“Now, as we prepare to do that, we are implementing lots of new measures to keep colleagues and customers safe. Changes will include lots of signage to ensure we all respect social distancing, reduced activity capacities, enhanced cleaning regimes, and hand sanitizing and cleaning stations. We’ll also ask customers to pre-book sessions on our Places Locker app or via our website.

“We’re excited to announce that on 3rd August; Deben Leisure Centre, Felixstowe Leisure Centre and Leiston Leisure Centre will be re-opening. Brackenbury will be reopening of 17th August.

“Customer FAQs are available on the East Suffolk Council landing page on the Places Leisure website. This page also includes centre opening times, a list of activities that are available at each centre and details on how customers can book each activity. We cannot wait to welcome our colleagues and customers back.”